tv America Live FOX News December 15, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm PST
thought about the true meaning of christmas. back to you guys. jenna: that's the way to do it. jon: i can see why it's controversial. thanks for joining us today. jenna: "america live" is right now. megyn: thanks, guys, a fox news alert on brand new poll numbers that show a big new race. live here in sioux city, iowa, where we are counting down right now to the first contest of the 2012 election and very last debate. before things get started in iowa. as you can see, we are also counting down to that big debate, it is the fox news republican debate kicking off in the city less than eight hours from right now. these candidates will have their very last chance to win the hearts and minds of voters right here. it is all about iowa at this moment with folks are hoping to both win and pick up momentum, and the latest polls have shown that it is anyone's game here in
iowa. first, though, the latest rasmussen reports poll on the iowa caucuses which shows a tight race now between mitt romney and newt gingrich, ron paul still running very strong. look at the numbers, 23% romney, 20 gingrich and 18%, ron paul, all within the margin of error. but look at this new poll in new hampshire, gingrich has 16% there coming in third behind romney and ron paul which, of course, comes a week after the iowa caucuses. it shows a considerable slide in some of gingrich's support and an uptick on romney in that state. joining me now is bob cusack, managing editor of "the hill." bob, these polls -- it's only two, it's not a national average yet in terms of all the polls, but it has good news for romney and not such great news for gingrich today, i would imagine. >> i agree, megyn, and this shows the importance of this, tonight's debate for newt
gingrich. i mean, he did well in iowa, he's not expected to do that well in new hampshire. i mean, this debate, he's shown so far, i think, the ability to defend off a lot of the attack, but he's going to be attacked repeatedly tonight. and this thing, as you said, is wide open. ron paul could win. ron paul did not win a state in 2008. he could win the first contest in iowa. it's just a fascinating race. but ron paul's support is not wavering like romney or gingrich's. i think you have to watch him. megyn: what explains what we've seen in iowa and new hampshire just in these latest polls with respect to newt gingrich's numbers going in the wrong direction for him? >> well, the attacks have started to take their toll, and i think republicans are siding. i mean, they've been very fickle, let's face it. michele bachmann at first and then perry, never really warming to mitt romney. maybe they are now. but gingrich, can he beat president obama? i think, megyn, that's the key
thing. republicans say newt gingrich, as far as his debating skills, they think he can go toe the toe with obama but can't beat him. i think that's the thing to watch. newt gingrich has to convince people he can beat president obama, and that's what voters are now weighing. megyn: and what about ron paul? it's looking more like he could possibly win iowa, but can he win any other state, bob? is he capable of winning in this nomination? >> i think it's doubtful. certainly, are his chances better than they were in 2008? absolutely. especially when you have so many in the race because he has a solid base of support around 20% maybe, can he have 50% of the vote as people drop out? >> because i think after iowa two or three candidates drop out. that remains to be a question. so can ron paul win? yes. could he win new hampshire? yes. could he go the whole way? the chances are against him, but he is more of a force than he
was four years ago. megyn: bob has been saying that this debate tonight decides the winner in the first inform the inform the-nation caucus of iowa. we will see eight hours from right now. thank you. >> thanks, megyn. megyn: well, the state of iowa is the first in the nation since 1972. coming up, i will be joined by two of the president presidentis participating in tonight's debate. first we'll speak with michele bachmann who will respond to a group of conservatives who say the minnesota congresswoman is, quote, biblyically qualified to be president. we'll talk to her about it in the next hour. then ron paul joins me live to talk about his latest poll numbers and his increasingly aggressive approach taking down former speaker newt gingrich in this race. and don't forget to tune in to tonight's fox news republican debate right here in sioux city, iowa, at the sioux city convention center where we're broadcasting from live at this
moment. it hasn't at 9 p.m. eastern time, 6 p.m. pacific. we will have instant analysis, live chats, and we will have fox news contributors at foxnews.com/debate. another fox news alert now, we are awaiting the start of a new round of congressional testimony from former new jersey senate and former new jersey governor jon corzine. the house oversight committee is scheduled to start grilling corzine anytime now about the failure of a hedge fund that corzine ran and more than a billion dollars in investor money that has gone missing. we'll bring you the latest news as it happens right there. well, back now to capitol hill, house speaker john boehner is saying that he's optimistic that a government shutdown can be avoided. the big debate over the spending bill snagged on disagreements over how to expand a payroll tax holiday. now, if congress fails to act, the government could run out of
money by tonight. we've heard this song before. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel live from capitol hill. hey, mike. >> reporter: hi, megyn. hal rogers told us just a few minutes ago that a deal is close, and i've talked to both democrats and republicans, they tell you that talks are heading in the right direction. there seems to be a recognition that time is running out on funding the government, and quite frankly, everybody wants to get home for christmas. so some time ago we heard a calmer house speaker, john boehner. >> everyone just needs to step back and take a deep breath. i think there's an easy way to untangle all of this. we just need to letthe members do their jobs, and we need to let the two institutions do their work. >> reporter: boehner did issue a warning to the senate, though, that he believes that once the house passes the $1 trillion compromise spending package that he sees no reason for his members to stick around here and wait around for the senate to
act. and so that shifts the pressure over to the united states senate. and yesterday after senate democratic leaders were called to the white house for a meeting and then key congressional leaders met, republican leader mitch mcconnell's office late yesterday, today a lot less bickering, a lot more talk about getting something done. here is senate leader harry reid on trying to work it out. >> on the payroll unemployment and the tax -- [inaudible] republican leader have been in discussion on that. we hope that we can come up with something that would get us out of here at a reasonable time in the next few days. >> reporter: that reference to the next few days has led some to believe that perhaps they will pass a continuing resolution to fund the government for a few more days until congress can get everything hammered out in terms of the payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits, etc.
i will say here on capitol hill when you finally get everybody point inside the right direction, things can move pretty quickly. megyn: a glimmer of hope on capitol hill. thanks, mike. a connecticut mayor is at the center of attention after he holds a news conference that gives illegal immigrants the right to vote. he says there are thousands of illegal citizens who pay taxes, and they should be allowed to vote for their representatives. >> reporter: the mayor has long supported immigrant rights. in fact, he caused a big stir back in 2007 when he gave illegals id cards, they could get bank accounts and city services. now he wants to allow them to vote in municipal elections, so only in new herman cain. he knows -- new haven. he knows the constitution los only -- allows only u.s. citizens to vote, but he says at one time the constitution did not allow african-americans or
women to vote, and it's time to evolve. he points out that at yale university there are some 5,000 non-citizens working and going to school. of course, what he fails to point out is that those non-citizens are there legally going to school and teaching. here's the mayor's argument. listen. >> i actually think it's very consistent, this core virtue and strength of america, of always broadening the meaning of citizenship. so whether you're from the definition of citizenship or whether you approach a member of the community, in the end i think they probably don't mean a lot except to the lawyers. >> reporter: the plan would, of course, have to go through the connecticut legislature, and the democratic governor, dan malloy, is very leerily. listen to him. >> it's not an idea that i'm particularly comfortable with. i think there are obligations
that run with citizenship. >> reporter: the connecticut republican party has also weighed in now, and they're saying, and i'm quoting here, we support legal immigration and reasonable measures to earn a path to citizenship, but we don't support providing rewards for illegal immigration. other cities, megyn, have tried this before, and they have failed. megyn: t.g., thank you. well, a brand new report is today raising questions whether or not the white house knew it hosted a man this week who may be connect today a bombing that claimed the lives of 19 u.s. servicemen. we will show you the pictures, speak with ambassador john bolton about that right after this break. plus, a u.s. satellite has just captured a brand new chinese aircraft carrier. just ahead, the growing tension in the pacific ocean. and newt gingrich has a plan to reform our nation's courts.
former attorney general alberto gonzales and michael mukasey both served under president george w. bush. in my exclusive interview right here, just ahead, turns out there are parts of this plan they do not like. if we had a president gingrich and this plan was enacted, how fundamental would the change be to the way america works? daddy, come in the water! somebody didn't book with travelocity, with 24/7 customer support to help move them to theool daddy promised! look at me, i'm swimming! somebody, get her a pony! [ female announcer ] the travelocity guarantee. from the price to the room to the trip you'll never roam alone.
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u.s. and allied forces in iraq. nineteen u.s. servicemen die inside that attack. approximately 500 others were wounded. in june of 2001, the u.s. handed down 14 indictments in relation to that attack linking to plan to hezbollah, a group supported by the iranian revolutionary guard. in a new report, questions are raised about a visit by the iraqi prime minister to the white house this week. he brought with him a man some believe has knowledge of that attack that killed 19 american servicemen or may perhaps have even been directly involved in it. the question now, did the white house know that it was hosting this man who may have the blood of so many american soldiers on his hands? georgeer the willier is former deputy attorney general at the justice department, and ambassador john bolton is a fox news contributor.
thank you so much for being here. george, let me start with you. this man, most of our viewers will not know this name, so tell us who this man is. now he's the transportation minister in the iraqi government, but he has another role which is making his appearance at the white house very controversial. >> well, megyn, according to the many sources from former fbi director louie free to -- louis freeh, he has a long history of, in fact, being an agent of iranian interests and specifically the revolutionary guard and some of the terrorist organizations they support. he was arrested by iraqi officials in december of 2006, so this is not ancient history. with the badr forces who were engaged in fomenting a lot of the unrest that took place, the
sectarian violence in iraq at the time. megyn: so there is a question about his ties to the iranian revolutionary guard, ambassador bolton, and whether specifically -- we do not know the answer to this yet -- but whether specifically he may have had some role in that attack that took the lives of so many. and the question is, why would the white house have allowed a man like that about whom at least there are these questions to come into the white house? >> well, there are two possibilities. one is that they didn't know what this background was which would be pretty troubling, to say the least. the other is that they knew what the background was and let him in anyway which would be even more troubling. you know, this revolutionary guard involvement with attacks on american soldiers in iraq in the very conflict that prime minister al-maliki was at the white house to celebrate the end of with president obama, it's just an incredible thumb in our eye both by the al-maliki government and indirectly by
iran if they were able to pull this off. and i really think although it's not clear exactly what the white house knew, they need to own up to it and tell the american people what they did or didn't do in allowing this man to come in. megyn: george, you mentioned louis freeh who served as the fbi director during the clinton administration. he said it is shocking that they would bring him in the visit to washington, and this group, of course, the iranian revolutionary guard has been involve inside countless acts of terrorism and went on to say this guy who was at the white house on monday would have to have known about the tower attack, he would have known the general who conducted the operation, and there is a real question about whether this guy wasn't sitting in the fbi offices being cross-examined as opposed to in a position of, you know, access and some would argue honor at the white house. is this a diplomatic snafu bilal maliki? by our white house? by anyone?
>> well, i think ambassador bolton is right. it's an affront, and it's an affront to a lot of people. megyn, right now i represent the diplomatic personnel and military personnel who the revolutionary guard took hostage at our embassy in tehran in 1979. every time the congress has tried to give them their day in court to get redress against iran, the administration has stepped in and gotten their way. imagine how they feel to understand that this man is at the white house. and i think there's a larger political issue here that hearkens back to 1979. the carter administration paid a price for the failure of its policy in dealing with iran. this administration has had a policy of constructive engagement with iran that seems to be getting us nowhere. and now if pursuant to that policy they brought this man to the white house, i think it's going to highlight this is a political issue in the presidential campaign that you're in the thick of out in
iowa. megyn: you know, ambassador, the white house had referred initially inquick question ris on -- inquiries on this to the iraqi government to get to the bottom of who this guy is and what he was doing there. the victims of the attack are expressing serious outrage. one gentleman, william, who survived the bombing came out and said, quote, outrage to the white house really doesn't describe what i feel. he went on to say, i watched outstanding airmen die that night and witnessed horrific carnage and really is scratching his head as are so many others about why this man who we don't have direct proof he was link today these attacks, but, you know, the linkage to this group that was behind the attacks has raised eyebrows. the question i have for you is, nonetheless, is it an adequate response by the white house to say, look, now he's the transportation minister of the iraqi government, and it is not our position to tell al-maliki that he can't appoint him to that position or bring him with him when he comes to the united
states? >> well, that doesn't mean they have to let him into the white house. but, you know, the purpose of this whole ceremony and the oh events -- other events with al-maliki was to celebrate americans withdrawing from iraq and to have an agent of influence of the iranian government there in al-maliki's cabinet, if that's what this turns out to be, just shows exactly what's wrong with the idea of withdrawing all of our forces. we properly fear an increase in iranian influence in iraq and around the region, and this is the perfect symbol of it. so i think that there's, there's the outrage of the victims of khobar towers, there's the outrage of the americans killed by iranian agents and their terrorists that they supported inside iraq during these last ten years, and there's a great concern about iran's expanding influence. all of that needs to be addressed. megyn: yeah. gentlemen, thank you both so much. well, coming up, new documents surface in the investigation into fast and furious. we'll show you what they mean. plus, a small new jersey
megyn: we are just hours away from tonight's big republican debate here in iowa. it is the last big debate before the iowa caucuses scheduled for january 3rd. it happens tonight at 9 p.m. eastern time right here on the fox news channel. brett bay, chris wallace, neil cavuto and i will all be moderating tonight's contest, again, 9 p.m. eastern time. the stakes are very high for these candidates to make their last impression before the first votes of the 2012 presidential electionment -- election.
new fallout, now, in the investigation into allegations of hazing at florida a&m university. new evidence of possible fraud at the school. the investigation stemming from last month's death of marching band drum major robert champion, and this week officers arrested three band members for the beating of a freshman band member. steve harrigan live in miami with the very latest. >> reporter: megyn, we just spoke a short time ago with robert champion's mother. she says she feels like she's trapped inside a bad dream. on the one hand, she says her son deeply loved being a part of the band at florida a&m. on the other hand, she said she knows there are some serious changes that need to be made in the way that band is being run now. >> what's keeping me going strong and, is the focus that i have right now, um, in the name of my son because of the kind of person my son was. and that is to put an effort in
about the culture that is out there about hazing. >> reporter: the university is facing a second case, a second investigation of hazing, and this time the victim is a first-year female student who said she was beaten so many times with fists and with a metal ruler on the top of her legs that her femur was shattered, and she had blood clots. three men were arrest inside that case. and also there are new concerns that this kind of hazing inside marring bands can go beyond the college level to high schools. the two victims were both from the same georgia high school, right now 21 high schools in dekalb county have suspended their operations while investigators look into possible hazing. back to you. megyn: thank you so much, stevee harrigan. new worries today about china's military. we'll show you why this is getting a close look at the pentagon. and have you heard about
newt gingrich's plan for overhauling our courts? you will in three minutes when two former conservative attorneys general sit down with me to tell us why parts of this could change how this country is run. it is a fox news exclusive, and it is right after this break. now, let's talk about his idea. he wants to, among other things, subpoena judges who issue decisions that he doesn't like. >> judicial oversight hearings, as he calls them. megyn: how does that strike you? >> outrageous. megyn: how so? are you receiving a payout from a legal settlement or annuity over 10 or even 20 years? call imperial structured settlements. the experts at imperial can convert your long-term payout into a lump sum of cash today. ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm!
megyn: quick update for you now on our top political headlines. newt gingrich releasing a new tv ad claiming his opponents are more focused on personal attacks than moving the country forward. and rick perry kicking off a two-week barnstorming tour in iowa. mr. perry making several stops to meet and greet with supporters who had a chance to hear why he decided to join the race. and michele bachmann says she is not worried about her lagging poll numbers, bachmann telling voters she is the only true conservative in this race. and a reminder, folks, we are just hours away from tonight's big debate. it happens at 9 p.m. eastern time. bret baier, chris wallace, neil cavuto and i will be there. we'll all be moderating the contest, asking the questions. again, it's 9 p.m. eastern right here on fnc.
well, newt gingrich says one of the main reasons he is running for president is his concern about our judicial system and so-called activist judges. in october gingrich released a paper outlining how he would change the system if elected president. now that mr. gingrich is surging in the polls, we're taking a closer look at that plan, what it calls for and how it would change our judicial system and our country. [applause] >> we do not have to tolerate radical, anti-american judges rewriting the american constitution and pretending that we are helpless and, candidly, once we have abolished this court, we should serve notice to the ninth circuit that they are on suffer answer, and they decide to continue being radical, they will become unemployed. megyn: a fired-up newt gingrich speak anything october about his plan to rein in, quote, activist judges who he believes are destroying the american way of life. the 28-page draft plan is titled "bring the courts back under the
constitution." in it, gingrich argues for a more subordinate judiciary claiming our founding fathers believed that the supreme court was the weakest branch and that the legislative and executive branches would have ample abilities to check a supreme court that exceeded its powers. l gingrich argues that when the supreme court gets it wrong constitutionally, the president and congress have the power to check the court, contending in some cases the president may even ignore the supreme court. >> as president i would say that, i would instruct the national security apparatus to ignore the three most recent supreme court decisions on terrorism, and i would say those are null and void and have no binding effect on the united states, and as commander in chief, i will not tolerate a federal judge risking the safety of the united states with some misguided interpretation. [applause] megyn: the plan calls for congress to start subpoenaing judges who issue controversial rulings, compelling them to explain their constitutional reasoning. former u.s. attorney general michael mukasey who served under president bush says while
gingrich's plan has some good points, he finds much of it untenable. he is an adviser to golf mitt romney but says he has only comed mr. romney one time and would do the same for any of the republican candidates. now, let's talk about his idea. he wants to, among other things, subpoena judges who issue decisions he doesn't like. >> judicial oversight hearings, as he calls them. megyn: how does that strike you? >> outrageous. megyn: how so? >> because there's no basis. the only basis is to consider legislation. to subpoena judges so as to beith beat them up about their decisions has only, i mean f they're going to say that has to do with legislation that they might propose, that's completely dishonest. megyn: alberto gonzales precede ed mr. mukasey during the bush administration. he, too, has concerns about the plan. >> i think we have a great government, a great country because it's built on the
foundation of the rule of law, and one of the things that makes it great, and the rule of haw is protected by -- law is protected by having a strong, independent judiciary. and the notion or the specter of bringing judges before the congress like a school child being brought before the principal, to me, is a little bit troubling. i believe in a strong and independent judiciary, that doesn't mean that the judiciary is above scrutiny, that it's above criticism for the work that it does, but i cannot support and would not support efforts that would appear to be intimidation or retaliation against judges. megyn: gingrich also wants to abolish certain judgeships or even entire courts if he and congress think the circumstances warrant. and he wants some judges kicked off the bench if their rulings run too far afield, in his view. >> the judge in san antonio on june 1st issued a decree that not only could students not pray at their graduation, they couldn't use the word
benediction, invocation, they couldn't use the word god, they couldn't ask the audience to stand, and if they violated his order, he would arrest and imprison the superintendent. judge berry's court should shoue abolished now. [applause] megyn: while technically it is possible for congress to impeach a judge or eliminate a court, both mr. mukasey and mr. gonzales expressed serious concern about putting a judge's job on the line based on his decisions. >> i would tread very, very carefully down the road, you know, this notion that, okay, this judge has rendered a decision that we think is unpopular, we're not happy with it, so we're going to try to impeach this judge. i think that's not, that's not healthy. again, i think the way you deal with decisions rendered by judges you're unhappy with is you win presidential elections. you elect a president who's going to appoint people to the judiciary who understand the appropriate role of judges. >> that's why they have a judiciary that is independent, judges serve guaranteed for life
terms who have salaries that can't be diminished during their lifetime so that they are independent of political pressure. megyn: but what about the most controversial courts and gingrich's plan to eliminate them? he wants to see the ninth circuit court of appeals entirely abolished. your thoughts on that. >> ridiculous. the fact is that the constitution empowers the supreme court to establish lower federal courts, presumably it can undo lower federal courts. but to say that you're going to undo an entire court simply because you don't like some of their decisions when there are thousands of cases before that court is totally irresponsible. megyn: but you know, a lot of people don't like in particular the ninth circuit court of appeals. it issued, as newt gingrich has pointed out, the opinion striking down "under god" in the pledge which was later reversed by the supreme court, but a lot of people think, yeah, let's get rid of it. to those viewers who are feeling that way, explain why you think that's outrageous and dangerous. >> it's outrageous because it,
essentially, does away with the notion that when courts decide cases the, the proper way to have them reviewed is to go to a higher court. it's dangerous because even from the standpoint of the people that put it forward because you have no guarantee that you'll have a permanent majority. megyn: where would that end? >> it would end with, um, having a democratic majority that then decides to abolish the fourth circuit and the 11th circuit, and you go on and on and on. and then they could, i guess, reconstitute another court. it would reduce the judicial system to a spectacle. megyn: if we had a president gingrich and this plan was enacted, how fundamental would the change be to the way america works? >> it would be fundamental in, i mean, which is a favorite word of his. he likes to think about things being fundamental. this would be the most fundamental change in our lifetime, and that includes the new deal and everything that
followed it. this would work a fundamental change in our constitutional system, make this a different kind of country. megyn: both mr. mukasey and mr. gonzales applaud speaker gingrich for calling attention to problems in the judicial system. both say they support certain parts of his plan like calls to make judicial appointments more a focus of political campaigns, a preference for judges who follow the original intent of the constitution and steering clear of foreign law in interpreting the founders' intent. if newt gingrich is watching this interview, and he respects you, i presume, what message do you have to him about this plan as it's now written? >> there's a lot in here that's good, take a red pen to the parts that are bad, stick with the parts that are good and run on it. megyn: well, we have reached out to the gingrich campaign for their response to the comments made by generals mukasey and gonzales. we alerted them about 24 hours ago. so far, no word back. when we get a response, we will
bring it to you. and if you would like to read mr. gingrich's plan yourself, do so by logging on to foxnews.com/"america live." we have attached the complete 28-page draft report. well, tensions rising now in the pacific. new satellite photos claim to show china's very first aircraft carrier. take a look. the warship began sea trials in august. this is believed to be the very first photo ever taken of the ship underway raising fresh concerns about beijing's military buildup in the area. national correspondent steve centanni joins us live with more from washington. steve? >> reporter: megyn, we're getting our first commercial look at china's very first aircraft carrier which is now undergoing a second round of sea trials. it's a soviet-r rah carrier that was never finished and was eventually sold to a chinese company in 1998. the first commercial satellite pictures of the carrier taken just a few days ago have now been released by a colorado
company called digital globe which took the pictures. china says it's using the carrier only for research and training, and right now that's probably all they can use it for. experts say it could take some time for the chinese to develop and put in place all the systems needed for launching and retrieving aircraft from that vessel, and no planes were seen in these first-ever pictures. an expert who works with digital globe told us, quote, this is a major step for china because it's now moving under its own power in the yellow sea. while the carrier's not fully operational yet, there is certainly intense interest in china's progress with the ship since china is a growing regional power. china is involved in several territorial disputes in the north china sea. the u.s. military has acknowledged the chinese do have their first carrier, and there's little question they also have pictures, too, at the pentagon. but those, of course, not for public viewing. it's taken years for the chinese to refurbish this ship before it
was finally lawned for sea trials back in august. megyn? megyn: steve centanni, thank you. new details just ahead on the information now underway into the death of a new york city executive. we'll tell you how a simple elevator ride took the life of this woman. and do new e-mails reveal what the feds knew about the botched gun-running program, operation fast and furious? we will have the latest details right here. >> you would see how some reasonable people might come to the collusion that it's self-dealing -- the conclusion that it's self-dealing. finish the weapons go south across the border in the hundreds, if not now, and then use the evidence that that occurred to support their effort to try and extend the reach of the law. [ male announcer ] how do you trade?
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democratic senator ron widen and republican congressman paul ryan teaming up together for some dramatic new ideas on how to save the program. but the white house is already panning the proposal. chief washington correspondent jim angle has the breaking details live now from washington. jim? >> reporter: hello, megyn. this plan is a huge and significant political development. paul ryan has joined forces with democratic senator ronwideen to produce a medicare reform plan that will have an impact on the 2012 election as well as entitlement reform because the new proposal will leave traditional medicare in place as a choice for seniors. >> what this bill does is it embeds for all time a program that progressives have felt very strongly about, and that is traditional medicare will always be part of this program. >> reporter: which means democrats can no longer accuse ryan of trying to destroy
medicare. instead, he and wyden claim to be saving it. >> what we have learned through experience is by having choice and competition where the beneficiary gets to make the choice and the providers, insurers, whomever, compete existence each other for that person's business, what ends up resulting are lower costs and higher quality. >> reporter: now, what the plan would do, megyn, is that it would create a system in which seniors would get a subsidy known as premium support to buy either traditional medicare coverage or a private sector plan. the subsidy would be said to match the second lowest bidder so seniors would always be guaranteed at least two health plans at no cost. now, the political left had taken aim at the original plan which did not preserve traditional medicare. you may remember newt gingrich had joined in, famously criticizing the original ryan plan as right-wing social
engineering, but now the ryanwyden plan is almost identical to mitt romney's plan for medicare and quite similar to newt gingrich's as well. alice rivlin, democrats will have a hard time going after republicans for trying to end medicare when several reform-minded democrats are proposing much the same thing as the two leading republican presidential candidates. megyn? megyn: it's very interesting, jim, because, you know, the white house through the spokesman came out and said they're concerned about this proposal, they think it will undermine rather than strengthen medicare and goes on from there. but can they make that argument against republicans now, that they have, you know, a democratic senator joining in the proposal to do something about the medicare reform and in a way that they say will preserve medicare? i'll ask ron paul about that in about 20 minutes right here. jangle, thank you. >> reporter: yes, ma'am. megyn: this is going to become
an issue in this campaign, folks. medicare is, obviously, one of the main so-called into it almosts that they talk about, and now we've got a bipartisan plan that's got both a democratic and republican signature on it, and so we'll see how much of a political football they can make out of this as we forge ahead into 2012. well, speaking of the election, we are just hours away now from the fox news presidential debate right here in sioux city, iowa. i'm in the convention center at this moment with the beautiful christmas tree and all the candidates are starting to mill about and going through, doing their run-throughs. it's all about to happen, folks, just hours away. and joining me shortly right here before the debate, minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann and texas congressman ron paul, looking for a game changer in this state. we will hear from both candidates next hour. both have gotten some good news in iowa recently, and we'll talk to them about their plans for tonight and the next couple of weeks. and a small town in a very big fight over this banner. it reads "keep christ in
christmas." a national atheist group wants the banner removed. how the town is fighting back, coming up. ♪ ross america, i've learned that when you ask someone in texas if they want "big" savings on car insurance, it's a bit like asking if they want a big hat... ...'scuse me... ...or a big steak... ...or big hair... i think we have our answer. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. 8% every 10 years.age 40, we can start losing muscle -- wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time.
megyn: well, a small new jersey town is today fighting to keep the christ in christmas. this banner hangs from two lamp posts along main street in pittman, new jersey. it reads, "keep christ in christmas." now an atheist group wants it taken down. trace gallagher reporting on this one. >> reporter: it's about 15 miles south of philly, and that banner that says keep christ in christmas actually hangs over broadway which is the main thoroughfare of pittman. it was paid for by the knights
of columbus which has been putting up christmas banners in that town for 60 years. well, the group that is called freedom from religion based in wisconsin says it got a complaint from a resident who drives down broadway every day, and they feel like, quote, an outsider. so now the group claims the banner was unconstitutional because it was put up by fiver fighters, and, two, it hangs from lamp posts owned by the town. it says it's unconstitutional because it's being endorsed by the government. the mayor of pittman says the banner stays unless the town council tells him it has to come down. here's the mayor followed by somebody who thinks the banner should come down. listen. >> i think it's a sad state of affairs that our country, um, we kowtow to the minority and not the majority of people that would like to sew things like -- see things like that stay. >> i believe in freedom of religion like anyone else.
it's just people find it offensive because if they're muslim or any other race, like i am, i'm an atheist -- >> reporter: the knights of columbus, by the way, says this is politically correct nonsense. they say if somebody wants to put up an opposing banner, then so be it. the town council will actually meet on this, megyn, but not until two days after christmas. megyn: all right. trace, thank you so much. well, folks, we are hours away right now from tonight's big debate here in iowa and just ten minutes away from candidates michele bachmann and ron paul with a sneak peek at the message they hope to send tonight. also former new jersey governor jon corzine right now being grilled by lawmakers about the failure of the hedge fund he used to run, and $1.2 billion worth of missing investigationer money. investor money. see how he's defending himself now. >> my concerns about the anguish of those provide no solace for their losses and hardship,
whether those hurt, our customerses, employees or investors. as the chief executive officer of mf global, i truly apologize to all those affected. my doctor told me calcium is best absorbed in small continuous amounts. only one calcium supplement does that in one daily dose. citracal slow release... continuously releases calcium plus d for the efficient absorption my body needs. citracal.
megyn: new developments on the 7 candidates on the stage, one stage, that is, and what could be the most crucial gop debate of the election session so far. less than 11 hours and counting right here in sioux city, iowa. campaign carl cameron is live with me. big stakes tonight. you can't overstate it. iowa is absolutely on fire for this debate tonight. republican caucus-goers recognize this has the potential to be a game changer.
there will be no other gathering of the try. this is the last time they will be standing shoulder to shoulder, eye to eye. the latest poll by scott rasmussen shows this race continues to evolve almost daily. newt gingrich who jumped up to a 10-15-point lead is now in a plea-way tie. a rasmussen poll shows mitt romney is back in the lead. newt gingrich is inecond place and paul in third. but they are all bunched together in the margin of error. this could end up with a three-way tie. though one candidate may get a few more votes than the other, there won't be the kind of momentum coming out. with that being said newt gingrich recognizes he is short on money, short on organization compared to his rivals and
earlier today we saw what all candidates do at this event, make a pitch for caucus-goers to back them up just a couple weeks from now. listen. >> i do need your help january 3. i know there are a ton of negative ads. but i'm not going to spend my time on that stuff. i'll talk about positive solutions and a positive way. >> reporter: what's interesting about mr. gingrich's pitch to voters is he talks about how's going to run a different campaign with broad sweeping ideas and how he needs people to be with him for the eight years eld be president. but what he doesn't do is get them to come to the caucuses. megyn: campaign karl cameron, thank you, sir. with me now and later tonight
the rest of the big debate team at fox news. bret baier anchor of special report and chris wallace host fox news sunday. this is like an episode of the dating game. very cute, very cute. who is the scorpio? forget it. >> reporter: we were stumped. megyn: finish this question, bret. let me think of a good one. the question is tonight is the most important debate for ... >> reporter: i think could you say, you could make an argument that it, the most important debate for anybody on that stage. megyn: as i'm going to have to do at the end of this segment i'll have to pick one. >> reporter: it's the most
important debate for newt gingrich. he's sliding according to recent polls in iowa and new hampshire. he has seen traction because of his ability in these debates to make a cogent argument. and to stop any slide that may be coming because of negative attacks and ads that are airing, he needs what has been his bread and butter, a solid debate performance where he pushes back on the attacks coming on stage. megyn: chris wallace you made news where you said it will diminish the iowa caucuses if ron paul is the winner in iowa. would you like to explain that? >> reporter: i don't known any way to diminish ron paul. and i think he absolutely could win the debate. and win the caucuses. i think he still is a relatively speaking a long shot to be the next president.
and to the degree people will look at iowa and say do they pick presidents or do they pick people that pick certain points of view but don't hold up during the primary campaigns. if paul wins it will diminish the credibility of the caucus. i'll tell you there are a lot of top republicans in this state, republican party officials who say the same thing. it will give the sense, special interesting win in iowa, but not -- i don't mean special interest by big corporations, but special interests like libertarians, fringe groups and they don't pick president.like south carolina which has picked every republican president since '80 or '84. >> reporter: you would have dismissed jimmy carter out the gate. >> reporter: i'm talking about
republicans. megyn: i like how batch letter number three jumps in there like he doesn't need an invitation. >> reporter: it's my first time here. megyn: bachelor number three, welcome to the dating game. as a hoho lover i welcome you. this is neil's first time with this debate team. >> reporter: what an education. megyn: what are your impressions so far? >> reporter: it's an amazing process. and i feel i can carry the nerd element here. you were likening it before the dating game scene, this debate being important. i can liken it to the last chance to close the sale or the deal on the car. and this is it. they have got to do it here. and this is the last chance we are going to see a forum like this until the vote. and it could go a long way. by whether they go for the jugular i was asking chris what
do you expect as far as any part of that. megyn: they have got to be a little aggressive, do they not? >> it will a much different environment. there will be a lot of candidates looking to follow up and to ask for time. so it will be a challenge for all of us to juggle that ball with 7 candidates on stage. i also point out first ever presidential debate in sioux city. northwest iowa is psyched for this. >> reporter: after this about going for the jugular. there is a down side. in 2004 gephardt and howard dean went at each other tooth and nail. the iowa voters backlashed against that. and you ended up seeing john kerry and john edwards finishing first and second. you want to make your point and don't want to let any attack go unanswered. but you can turn off voters if you are too aggressive. megyn: is anybody nervous and what is your pregame ritual?
>> reporter: you always get a little bit nervous at the beginning. i called my 4 1/2-year-old to get my words of wisdom. megyn: i thought were a bachelor. you are out. >> reporter: i'll go sit in a room by myself completely quiet for 20 minutes before the debate and go over the questions and i want to own the material before i go in there. megyn: i learned it from the tina turner documentary. >> reporter: i am nervous. i'm going to have a ralph cramden moment. it's worth it for our viewers to watch. when bret is ready, we'll take over the derivatives question. megyn: where will we be in this
scenario where bret is reading our question. here we go. see you guys tonight. 9:00 p.m. eastern time. thank you, guys. again, as i say, 9:00 p.m. eastern time we'll be live from sioux city, iowa. bret, chris, neil, and yours truly on fnc. so far they hesitated to throw their weight behind a candidate. but christian conservatives in iowa are a key voting block. could they be ready to block one white house hopeful? michelle balk man joins me right after the break.
botched gun control operation to if you are forth stronger gun control laws. >> reporter: they have some evidence that officials did seek to exploit "operation fast & furious" to justify a new policy on the purchase of rifles. >> when you screw up you have to say screwed up. then don't allow your screwup to be the basis for trying to expand your legislative agenda. >> you are saying the justice department came up with a flawed program in order to justify a regulation. >> reporter: that's what gun owners fear, that "operation fast & furious" was used to justify a new law requiring gun stores requiring anybody buying rifles or long guns. >> reporter: long rifle, multiple sale need regulation
after attending a "operation fast & furious" briefing. mark chafe writes ... we are look at anecdotal cases to support a long gun order on sales. chait repleases. this case could be a factor if we can determine how many multiple sales much long guns occurred during the course of this case. >> they were trying to use the tragedy to build a case for demand letters. >> the attorney general disagrees. >> it would have been foolhardy. >> reporter: moments ago i spoke to the attorney who filed a claim that will likely be filed in a few weeks. it will say the government is
partially responsible for brian terry's death. megyn: the iowa caucuses are right around the corner and conservative christians here in iowa are a key voting block. for weeks now they had to stay on the sidelines. not want to go get behind any one candidate. now one group of christian leaders is trying to drum up support for one candidate. minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann and she joins me live. you must be pleased about that because they have held their fire. now they seem to be coalescing around you. >> i'm very pleased. we have had for several days advance of christian conservative leaders holding rallies and bringing people together to let them know i'm the one consistent conservative candidate in this race that they can get behind. they want everyone in iowa to know i'm it. they are very strong voices from
iowa coalescing together and i'm thrilled to have their support. megyn: this contingent was critical to mike huckabee winning iowa back in the '08 election. do you feel like you have got some momentum? we always talk about the frontrunners. and we don't talk about the candidates in the single digits. do you feel like you are having a turnaround? >> an a.p. poll came out that said i'm he acceptingly tied with ron paul. glenn beck said i'm the candidate that he would vote for. so we are seeing a lot of coalescing. now with these christian faith leaders, many of whom were huckabee supporters in the last go-around getting in vans going around the state to tell people i'm the one, this is a huge backing and i'm thrilled to have their support. megyn: people like to back a
winner. they don't want to waste their vote. they don't want to get behind a candidate they don't think can win ultimately. the real clear politics shows you at 7% nationally. there may be a sense by some she is only 7.3%. how do you turn that around? >> what people have seen is candidates go up and candidate go down it's been a political wall street. a candidate on stays on top 3 or 4 weeks, then there is a new one. that's why we are positioned to be the one that comes out on top january 3. whoever wins here in iowa if we show well in iowa, that's a cannon shot into south carolina. very quickly the field will thin out and we think we'll be where we need to be. megyn: one of the reasons people believe newt gingrich surged to the top because it's a great debater. >> i think he's a great debate and i think i have proved myself
in the debates on domestic and foreign policy. megyn: people say he's rising to the top because of his debate performance. do you think you could debate obama better than newt gingrich? >> without a shadow of a do it. i don't agree with barack obama on almost every issue. romney and gingrich agree with obama. i'm 180-degree different. i have taken it toe to toe with barack obama. i have been fighting him every day's in office. i'm the perfect candidate because i'm the consistent conservative and i will hold him accountable. fan * if that's the case, you know, what -- why do you think your poll numbers slip after you won that iowa straw poll? >> it's like when you read a book, you have chapter one, all the drama in between, then you
are the fine chapter. we saw a lot of new candidates come in. the cameras follow different candidates and that's what people look at. now people are going to come home. january third they come home. megyn: i can't reveal what we have in store for you but we have tough questions for you. what is your strategy going into this last debate? >> to let everyone know of all the candidates on that stage i'm the one who has been the true proven consistent conservative and the on one that can hold barack obama accountable in the debates. i can win just like ronald reagan was called too conservative in 1980. i'm the candidate who can beat barack obama in 2012 to hold him accountable. we need a distinct and bold difference and that's what i can do. megyn: we'll see you in 6 hours
and 40 minutes. >> can't wait. megyn: in three minutes i'll be joined by another gop candidate. texas congressman ron paul. barack obama pressed in an interview about if he takes responsibility for any of the pain being felt by the middle class. that debate just ahead. >> so many of the members of the middle class be able to keep their homes and send their kids to college. do you take any personal responsibility for your administration creating that condition?
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tonight's big fox news debate. a lot ofize are on ron paul. he's making a big push. his campaign events are packing in some of the biggest crowds. polls show he is in the running to take the top spot on january 3. congressman ron paul joins me live right here. it's a pleasure. how are you doing it? these folks showing up at your rallies it's not just older folks. younger folks. you seem to have energized folks across the continuum. >> i don't know exactly what happened. i have been saying the same thing for 30 years. but all after should therein is a lot of excitement. i think it's the conditions of the country and the world. my policies have all bent same. i have been saying the same thing. but i think it represents how bad after we are in this country. the economy is in sham bells and i talked about that and warned about it. foreign policy, i wanted a different policy because i thought we would get bogged down
and i thought we went to war to carelessly. the american people are with me. they want the federal reserve audited. they don't like going into wars carelessly. the enthusiasm that's building, the mind coming in each year we have more volunteers and we have a better than than we did before. so it's all coming together and we feel good about it. megyn: you mentioned foreign policy. that has been a big question mark about you and your campaign. folks about about your stance and israel and you say you won't step in if iran gets the nuke. you know that is a problem for many conservatives. >> when i go around the country and go to the campuses this is where i get the loudest applause. they are tired of it. 65% of the american people want us to come home from afghanistan.
even higher than that. i would say the' not a problem. i'm not denying the fact there are a lot of people in the republican party anxious to go to war than i am. all i'm doing is defending the conservative constitutional position that you go to war infrequently and when you do it, you do it under propertier authority wind a declaration of war. you fight the wars and get them over with. i don't think that an unpopular position. i think the republicans are frustrated because the foreign policy is being run by obama and it's a lot easier to attack his foreign policy. megyn: do you think any of the gop candidates on the stage tonight could beat president obama? >> i think all of us would have a good chance. the country is very down on it. in some ways i see this differently in a different per second -- a different perspective. i don't see our problem as obama.
i see our problem as the monetary system. deficits, economic policies of the last four years, republicans and democrats have been in charge all that time. republicans have been in charge, we didn't do such a great job. that's why the independent movement is so strong and that's why there is a tea party and occupy movement because of this frustration. became hasn't done anything to help. he did not create this monster. this monster, the seeds were sown in 1971 when we interlinked our dollar from think restraint, our gold standard which meant we could spend endlessly, run deficits and print money endlessly. but there is always an end point and what the american people have to wage and realize we are at that end point. megyn: the race has been interesting to watch as an outsider, and here in iowa in particular. you get deluged with ads. one ad we see over and oifers an ad you are behind going after
newt gingrich. we have a little bit of it for the audience to watch in which you accuse him of hypocrisy. >> everything gingrich railed against when he was in the house, he went the other way when he got paid to goat other way. >> he demonstrated himself to be the essence of washington insidessers. >> it's about serial hypocrisy. megyn: do you mean that? you are saying you think any of the republicans can win including newt gingrich. >> i think the country is so bad off with the conditions they want a change. if the republicans offer change, i think every one of them would have an opportunity. megyn: that's a tough ad. >> i forgot to put one in there. megyn: some people think that's mean. iowans don't like negative campaigning. >> negative campaigning is calling people names and
misrepresenting their views. megyn: hypocrisy? did you go too far? >> there was one other issue i personally found annoying. he's probably as aggressive with the military as anybody. he supports all the wars in middle east. a thousand times more than if i would. but in the 1960 when i was drafted he got several deferments. he chose not to go. but he will send our kids to war. he said one person wouldn't make a difference. he didn't know how he could make a difference. i see that as important information. people should know that and it reflects on him. megyn: i want to ask you quickly, what is your plan for tonight? >> tell the truth. that's the easy way. they never accuse me of flip-flopping. megyn: congressman, thank you so much. all the best. we'll see you a few hours. jon corzine on the hot seat with one of the toughest crowds in
washington. we'll show you what the health oversight committee has learned about the $1.2 billion corzine's company managed to misplace. >> christ is christmas to us. i think it's a beautiful sign and i would like to see it there. >> i'm tired of this controversy. if that's your opinion, fine, you don't need to force your opinion on me. i'm not forcing my opinion on you by displaying the sign. i'm not forcing you to accept my opinion. call imperial structured settlements. the experts at imperial can convert your long-term payout into a lump sum of cash today.
megyn: fox news alert. new testimony from onscore zion. the moraler executive of mf global over the collapse of his company and how much he knew about missing clients money. james rosen live in washington with us. >> reporter: in grilling jon corzine lawmakers on the house stubb committee went straight out of the gate to a subject we have been tracking intensively. whether the former head of mf global was awaste misuse of customer funds for the purpose of a loan in october during the firm's chaotic final days. at the last congressional hearing there was bombshell testimony that corzine did know about this misuse of customer
funds which are supposed to be kept strictly segregated from the firm's accounts. >> you knew about the loans from the customer accounts. this was the cfo of mf global stated in a conference call that mr. corzine knows about the loan. >> mr. chairman, as i said very clearly in my opening remarks, i did not in any way know about the use of customer funds on any loan or transfer. >> reporter: another aspect of this hearing is lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are eager to seize on this as evidence that more legislation is needed or b why the suffocating regulations show they offer no real safeguard for this kind of catastrophe. >> i would remind you we had
sorbain's and dodd-frank in place and this happened anyway. >> i'm not afraid of regulation but that can't possibly work. it does nothing but allow forum shopping and allow people to points fingers at someone else. we have a significant degree of self-regulation. i think it's a good question whether self-regulation is applicable in today's world. >> reporter: a top regulator says they know where this $1.2 billion went. whether they ever get their hand on it is another question. megyn: james rosen, thank you. president obama's interview with a virginia tv station is getting a lot of attention. listen to mr. obama's response when pressed if he is responsible for the bad economy and the millions of americans out of work.
>> we didn't create the condition. because of automation and globalization, you had a lot of manufacturing move out of the united states. megyn: joining me now for a fair and balanced debate. simon rosenberg and rich lowry, editor of "the national review." the president said we didn't create it and we didn't voiflt yet. look at the trend lines, it wasn't us. >> if you are in the position to take credit for a good economy all these interviews would be about taking credit. the entirety of his
communications effort is about shifting the blame. you have got everything he wanted more or less, blaming the rich, even though they had nothing to do with the struggles of the middle or lower end. now he's blaming huge historical forces which he has no control over. he's supposedly modeling himself on harry truman in 1948 but he doesn't have the buck stops here sign on his desk. megyn: ron paul was on here moments ago. he was saying it's not all obama. he was saying some of these conditions were created long before president obama. but is it good for the president not to take any responsibility, sort of say it's all thanks to the larger picture? >> i think what he said is true. the conditions of the current economy, financial meltdown, missing wages the recession
itself. all of that happened before he became president. then when said that's important is we haven't done enough. he says it's fair criticism to say the stuff we have done isn't enough. look at all the things he has done. auto bailout. the stimulus plan. this has been an incredibly vigorous administration. they have thrown a lot of stuff against the wall. what he said is all that we have done which has been significant isn't enough and there is more to do. i think that's a fair he saysment of his presidency. >> the answer is always more spending and more debt. there have been friend the last 30 years hurting the middle class. but $830 million in stimulus funding in 2009 would not make a difference. 400 billion or $500 billion spending would not make a difference. you need to get the big things right. you need leadership on tax reform.
entitlement reform. getting healthcare down. he will do none of that. he just wants to blame the rich within spend more money, get the debt up and subsidize ridiculous green energy projects. that's the entirety of his economic program. megyn: it's an interesting message of i didn't create it. but him three years in offers to still be saying i didn't create it, i inherited it, dew think that grows tiresome for some voters? >> if the question is has the president taken responsibility for what's gone on the obvious answer is yes. look at all has done to change the fund amount at conditions spoch it worked pretty well. the auto industry is healthy. we have a better healthcare system and financial system but it's still not good enough. that's what the election in 2012 will be about. it's not what happened. but who has a better plan.
>> he's not taking responsibility. this is about shifting responsibility. if he were taking responsibility he would say i did a lot of stuff. i had two years of this massive liberal ageneral day passed through and judge me on my results. he won't say that because he knows what the verdict would be. megyn: i'll give you the last word simon. >> i think it's clear that he'sr understands. that if the economy is doing badly he won't get reelected. >> he said that a year or two ago, he's not saying it any more. megyn: rich, simon was getting the last word. >> i love the set, megyn. megyn: thank you very much, it's very christmassy. 10 days before christmas. coming up next a powerful group of atheists versus this little town in pitman, new jersey.
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megyn: "kelly's court" is back in session. on the docket, keeping christ in christmas. pitman, new jersey, the local knights of columbus sponsoring this sign overbroadway like they have every december for 60 years. the banner was put up by the town fire department across a public street and hanged from public lamp posts. and apparently some folks think that blurs the line between church and state. so they complained to a national atheist organization who complained that the town take down the banner and that wind
them into "kelly's court." welcome, gentlemen. mark eiglarsh and david walls. the atheist groups says this is the government stepping in where it doesn't belong. they say don't get city officials involved and don't hang it on the city lampposts and don't use the local firefighters. do they have a point? >> i think they do. to minimize the hate mail, understand these are my fake clients. i don't personally feel this way. i'm going to make a legal argument. first is this a religious message? they are not looking to change the holiday's name. they are talking about jesus christ. and jesus christ clearly is a religious symbol and this is a religious message. the second part of analysis is, is the government promoting it. fit was affixed to a private building and it wasn't over a
public street and wasn't hung by the firemen and it wasn't affixed using the lampposts paid for by taxpayer dollars i would say they have a stronger argument. if they are not going to take it down you have got to give people access to other religions and the theories they are advancing. megyn: they won't have room on those lampposts. >> this is a tough time of year for atheists. they walk around looking for things to complain about. between establishment of the religion prohibited by the constitution and being tolerant of religion. that's what pitman is doing. they are not saying atheists can't hang their own holiday sign which would be blank. they are saying everybody can do it. and the fire department has to use their truck to put it up
because it's 30-40 feet in the air and they have to hang on the lightposts because there is nothing else to hang them on. let's give it a break here. this is perfectly acceptable. megyn: that's the thing. the atheists would say a local resident complained -- he said i have to drive down that street every day. i seat sign and feel like an outsider because of it. it's possible. it's possible. >> this isn't about whether this is a popular sign. 80% of the country is made up of people who endorse this sign. megyn: then the christians would feel uncomfortable if it gets taken down. does that matter? >> apparently it doesn't. we are going by the supreme court of the land. they say stuff like this is endorsing a religion. that's a no-no.
megyn: there was a display of the ten commandments on public ground and they upheld that. >> in the supreme court itself inside the 10 commandment, on our money, faith in god. the religious symbols on there. there is religious statements. there are certain exceptions made because they don't amount to endorsement. that's the key thing. in this instant was the knights of columbus who sponsored it. i don't think it said that on a particular sign. but it also does not say the city of pitman endorsed the sign. there is no indication -- megyn: let me ask you this, mark. what can a city like pitman do if it wanted to avoid these challenges but still wanted to display that banner in a prominent way? >> affix it to a private building and have nothing to do with it.
otherwise the atheists themselves what they want is a banner that will say -- these aren't my words -- their words are religion is a myth, angels, god, heaven and hell do not exist. they want those things on their sign. what's good for the goose ... megyn: 10 days before christmas reading keep the christ in christmas then reading your banner. >> my banner? objection, not my banner. that's their banner. come on. mine would be keep -- megyn: that is 'wording. >> mine would be keep the han in hanukkah. megyn: merry christmas, happy hanukkah. we are hours away from the big republican presidential debate. it's the last time these candidates will face off before the iowa caucuses.
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megyn: the war in iraq is officially over. the united states formally ended the war in iraq during a ceremony at baghdad international airport. >> reporter: the secretary of defense leon panetta arrived from afghanistan to end the walk war. a simple ceremony at baghdad airport to mark the completion of nearly nine years of war. 4,500 lives were lost. 30,000 u.s. troops were wound and 100,000 iraqis died as a
result. the war cost the taxpayer nearly $1 trillion. it will be left to the historians to decide, was it worth it. at 5:34 a.m. the 2003 the bombs started dropping on baghdad. now there are just two bases left and 4,000 troops in a matter of days, those, too, will be gone. >> to be sure the cost was high. the blood and treasure of the united states and also for the iraqi people. but those lives have not been lost in vain. they gave birth to an independent, free, and sovereign iraq. >> reporter: the war began with shock and awe.
it ended with a simple ceremony. the iraq war is now over. in baghdad, jennifer griffin, fox news. megyn: the remaining 4,000 troops are expected to leave by the end of the month. secretary panetta says they plan to keep a robust u.s. presence in iraq. the gop candidates for president will be squaring off. it all starts at 9:00 p.m. eastern time right here on the fox news channel. cranberry juice? wake up! ♪ that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm [ male announcer ] for half the calories -- plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.